June 17: Revisiting the 10-year abatement | The Oval mural | Housing voucher reform

Inga Saffron makes the case that the time has come to amend the 10-year real estate tax abatement for more targeted policy goals like building in disinvested areas or preservation of historic buildings. 

Local artist Brad Carney will install a 25,000 square foot mural called “Rhythm & Hues” on The Oval at Eakins Oval this year, writes Melissa Romero. “In addition to the massive art piece, there will be an area called the Orchestra Pit with instruments for anyone to play, plus arts and crafts activities for kids where they can create instruments or paint music-inspired pieces.”

HUD proposed a new rule that would peg “fair market value” for housing vouchers to rents in individual zipcodes, rather than metro-wide prices, in 30 big city markets, reports Emily Badger. “The policy is designed to enable low-income families to use their housing aid to move to neighborhoods with less poverty, lower crime and better schools — an opportunity that research has shown can boost prospects for poor kids.”

The Philadelphia Parks Alliance was one of the big winners of the soda tax vote, say Holly Otterbein and Jared Brey. “For years, the advocacy group has been sounding the alarm about the fact that Philadelphia spends less money on parks than many other big cities. The Parks Alliance has packed repeatedly City Council chambers, released regular reports, and pushed for journalists to write about the issue.”

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a brand new website, writes Roberto Torres. Check out Technically for a brief review of the new site design.

The first-ever Wawa location in Ridley Township has closed, writes Anne Neborak.

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